Testing breast cancer serum biomarkers for early detection and prognosis in pre-diagnosis samples

Anna Kazarian, Oleg Blyuss, Gergana Metodieva, Aleksandra Gentry-Maharaj, Andy Ryan, Elena M Kiseleva, Olga M Prytomanova, Ian J Jacobs, Martin Widschwendter, Usha Menon, John F Timms

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41 Citations (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although mammography screening is available, there is an ongoing interest in improved early detection and prognosis. Herein, we have analysed a combination of serological biomarkers in a case-control cohort of sera taken before diagnosis.

METHODS: This nested case-control study within the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) used serum samples from 239 women who subsequently developed breast cancer and 239 matched cancer-free controls. Sera were screened by ELISA for 9 candidate markers. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to examine associations with clinico-pathological features and between case controls in different time groups before diagnosis.

RESULTS: Significant associations with clinico-pathological features related to prognosis were found for several candidates (CA15-3, HSP90A and PAI-1). However, there were no consistent differences between cases and controls for any candidate in the lead up to diagnosis. Whilst combination models outperformed single markers, there was no increase in performance towards diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS: This study using unique pre-diagnosis samples shows that CA15-3, HSP90A and PAI-1 have potential as early prognostic markers and warrant further investigation. However, none of the candidates or combinations would be useful for screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-508
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer (BJC)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2017


  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor/blood
  • Breast Neoplasms/blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Early Detection of Cancer/methods
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening/methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • United Kingdom


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